Planning a trip to Melbourne? What to pack is one question we all ask when planning a trip.
What you need to pack for a trip to Melbourne will depend upon the season and also what you plan to do. In summer, Melbourne can be scorchingly hot and in winter it can be freezing cold. However Melbourne is also known for its unpredictable weather. Australians often say “if you don’t like the weather in Melbourne, wait five minutes”, as it can have four seasons in one day. So even in summer you will need to be prepared for a cold snap.
We have lots of helpful packing lists for many other destinations.
Temperatures in Melbourne
During summer, Melbourne has an average temperature of 25C (77F). However during January, you can experience several hot days in a row around the 40C (104F) mark.
During the winter months, Melbourne’s average temperature is 14C (57). Wind off the snow from the alpine regions, and off the southern ocean can make for quite chilly weather.
What to wear in Melbourne
What you wear in Melbourne will depend largely upon what you plan to do. You will want to dress a little more smartly in Melbourne than in the regional areas. Particularly if you plan to visit smart restaurants or the theatre.
Many clubs, pubs and restaurants will have strict dress codes. For ladies you will want a smart dress, or skirt and top with a pair of smart heels. For men you will need long pants, a button up shirt and closed shoes. Definitely no thongs or singlet tops.
If you are heading on a day trip to the Great Ocean Road, you will need cool, comfortable clothing in summer and warmer clothing in winter. The wind off the Southern Ocean can be biting.
For a day at the tennis you will want cool, comfortable clothing and plenty of sun protection. A light hat is a must (you will be asked to remove a large hat as it may block someone’s view). A light, long sleeved shirt will help to keep the sun off.
We pack a multi-functional, interchangeable wardrobe. Items that can take you from a day’s sightseeing to dinner at the pub. I love the “capsule wardrobe” concept. Basically it comprises of a few pieces that you absolutely LOVE and will mix and match together for a number of different outfits.
Summer packing for Melbourne
Bear in mind that during summer, you will need to change your tops every day due to the heat. So you will either need to pack one shirt for each day, or tops that can be washed and dried quickly. Long pants will also be uncomfortable if you strike really hot days.
During summer ladies will want light tops and blouses in breathable fabrics, teamed with skirts, shorts or lightweight trousers. I always take a couple of light dresses to Melbourne in summer, as they are cooler.
Start with a pair of pants and a skirt that can be worn day or night. I team these with two casual tops, two shirts and a couple of dressier tops for evening. This gives you 12 outfits that can easily be dressed up or down with scarves, necklaces and accessories. For Melbourne I usually pack at least one smart dress if we are planning to go to restaurants.
You will also want a cardigan for the cooler evenings, and a jacket and a pair of jeans in case you do experience colder weather. One of my favourite pieces is my taupe jacket, which can be worn with everything in my wardrobe.
Some comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the city. Sandals are much cooler hot days and you will want a pair of dressy heels for dinner in the evening.
For Ian I will pack two pair of shorts and two pair of long pants. Match these with three T shirts or polo shirts and two button up shirts, with a dressy shirt in case we go to a fancy restaurant. Once again, 12 outfits which can take you from sightseeing to dinner at the pub. Also pack a pair of jeans and a jacket or windcheater in case of a cold snap.
You will also need comfortable walking shoes and a pair of smart dress shoes. Thongs aren’t generally worn off the beach in the city, however you may find sandals more comfortable in summer.
Pack your swimsuits in summer. Even if you are not planning to spend time on the beach, you may find you enjoy cooling off in the hotel pool on a searing hot day. A sunhat is also a must for both men and ladies.
Packing for winter in Melbourne
If you are visiting Melbourne during winter, layers will be the key. You will want warmer clothes that you can put on or take off as the weather changes. Unlike summer, you will be able to get a couple of days out of one shirt.
You will need three long sleeve shirts or long sleeve T shirts. These can be worn under a lightweight jumper. You will need at least two jumpers, as Melbourne in winter can be quite wet, so you may find yourself needing to dry clothes.
Team these with a couple of pairs of jeans and smart pants with a couple of dressy tops for evenings for the ladies. A scarf or necklace can dress up a plain shirt for dinner. Men will want a couple of dress shirts to be worn with smart pants for dinner in the evenings.
You will also need a warm coat and rainproof jacket that can live at the bottom of your daypack in case of showers. A scarf and warm hat will also help to ward off the chilly winds outside.
By selecting clothing that you can mix and match or layer, you can still pack lightly for your trip to Melbourne. However you will still need to make sure you have something warm when the weather changes.
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